The Spike: or, Victoria College Review, October 1908
"I have endured and done in days before;
I have longed for all, and bid farewell to hope."
—R. L. Stevenson.
With the cheery optimism of all College Clubs, a small credit balance and the Third Class Championship in hand, the Hockey Club this season embarked in pursuit or the two remaining Championships and incidental glory. The same old conservative battle methods were adopted. Practices were considered inadvisable, noses were broken and influenza contracted; each man played in each other man's place each Saturday and each former College crack (Dixon alone excepted) was in turn brought out of his honorable oblivion to fill the casualty depleted ranks. The "future in the distance" and the encouragement of youthful players by promotion, were consistently ignored and the Club is duly face to face with the unwelcome fact that its proud possession the 3rd Class Championship has passed to another and that its cherished hopes remain unfulfilled.
In the face of this however it has to be written that the season has been the most successful in the Club's career. Of eight teams in the competition the Seniors, who occupied second last position at the end of the first round, secured third place in the final, having scored more goals than any other Club in the competition. In earlier matches their defence was weak and their play individual rather than combined, but recent performances, especially that against United, furnish indisputable proof of marked improvement. Despite their weakened team, the fight against the redoubtable Champions was a memorable one, victory being more richly deserved than the honorable draw.
There is a tradition at Victoria College that a personal interview with the Captain of the Junior Hockey Eleven at the beginning of any season will invariably elicit the same confession "The Junior Championship is a foregone conclusion," and such indeed it has ever been,—but never for Victoria College. This season's page 44 Captain—one Eichelbaum—had no reason to make a different confession, and his, as of yore, seemed born of deep conviction. But here the resemblance to all previous seasons appeared to end. Within a month of the season's close we were actually leading by one point for the Championship, Then came the crucial point and tradition once more asserted itself by selecting Y.M.C.A.—the ultimate Champions—to check our victorious career. St. Patrick's College Old Boys were responsible for a further fall from grace and the season's results leave the Juniors runners-up for the Championship. The team is to be congratulated and the higher honor may not be beyond it next year.
The III a team who last year earned the distinction of being the first College team to win a local Championship, found isolation on the pinnacle of fame irksome and unbefitting and the descent, though steady and decorous, has been sure. Four contributing causes they allege, aided them in the descent:—An undue share of Karori ground, absence of a referee on five occasions, playing shorthanded (average strength of team 9.4 men) and the depredations of "Eichy," the Junior Captain. Since some of their most famous successes were achieved on the aforesaid Karori ground, shorthanded and without a referee, it would seem that they owe their present unfortunate position to none other than the predatory "Eichy." An infusion of stray footballer in their latest matches has however acted as a rejuvenating tonic and they have closed the session with a brace of memorable victories.
The reputation of the III b team is at stake. Hitherto they have (with spasmodic lapses) justified expectations by losing all but one or two of their matches, but this year they so far forgot themselves as to win a series of matches at the end of the season. On one occasion only did they threaten to return to their former policy, when they turned out with seven men and an air of non-chalance which enabled Wesley to secure their solitary competition win. Socially the team has perhaps been the greatest success. In highways and byways members may often be seen fighting their battles over again, sighing for what might have been and recounting their "deeds of derring do."
First XI Matches.
Matches played 14. Won 7, lost 5, drawn 2, Goals for 54, against 49.
V.C. v Wesley. Lost 6—5. A. H. Bogle (3), Monaghan and Castle scored. Fifteen minutes from time score 5—3 College favour. Self-satisfaction again.page 45
V.C. v Wellington. Lost 4—12. A feeble exhibition, shooting shocking. Ulrich (Wellington) found time to notch six goals. Beere (2) and Oram (2) scored ours.
V.C. v Thorndon. Won 3—1. Scorers D. S. Smith, Strack and Bogle. Improved combination, Thorndon shooting erratic.
V.C. v Y.M.C.A. Won 8—1. A crushing victory. College forwards ably backed up by halves, showed astounding combination. Beere (4) and Strack Bros. (2 each), who were not as "slack" as The Post alleged, arranged the goals between them.
V.C. v Vivian. Won 5—3. College weak in the circle. College shots repeatedly found Vivian's goalkeeper, but G. Strack (2), D. S. Smith (2) and Castle caught him napping.
V.C. v Wesley. Won 4—2. Scoring arrangements in hands of Beere (3) and Smith (1). Game exciting but more scramble than hockey.
V.C. v United. Drawn 2—2. A splendid exhibition in which Champions were fully extended and honors rested with College. Smith and Oram scored. Smith also shot a third goal which was disallowed. Both he and Managhan played brilliantly.
V.C. v Karori. Won by default. An easy victory.
V.C. v Wellington. Won 3—2. Smith, Beere, and Strack scored. Official report "scrappy game."
Second XI Matches
V.C. v Karori. Won 4—2. A good game of which we had decidedly the better. Paterson (2), McAlister and A. H. Bogle were the scorers. "McCurdy" Tudhope and Pope played well.
V.C. v St. Patrick's College Old Boys. Won 5—0. St, Pat's hadn't their best team as our debacle in 2nd round proved. Forwards fatigued. Backs, especially Niven, in good form. Oram (3), Willis and Pope found the uprights.
V.C. v United. Won 4—1. A splendid game probably best of the season. First spell, one all. Both forwards and backs played superbly, Arthur brilliant. Oram (2) and Willis (2) assisted emigration of ball into net.
V.C. v Vivian. Won 2—1. A hard fought game. Off side play and bad shooting on our part prevented larger score. Oram's fancy strokes a failure, Coombes in great form. Oram and Willis recorded score.
V.C. v Wellington. Won 5—3. Three or four Seniors in Wellington team who agreed to give us the match by default if we lost. Wellington lost on the play and Arthur lost a tooth. Paterson who gave a fine exhibition, shot a miraculous goal. Willis (2) and Oram (2) added the others.
V.C. v Y.M.C.A. Lost 3—2. Our first defeat. Forwards "off," score 2 all till close on time. Willis and Rigg found the posts. Pope played well.page 46
V.C. v St. Pat's Old Boys. Lost 7—2. A crushing defeat. Team gave sorry exhibition, but their best wouldn't have availed much against the vastly improved St. Pat's. Willis goaled "two times" and he and Rigg, were redeeming features. A prominent Club Official forgot himself after the match and wanted to protest. "Eichy's" speech on "playing the game," a brilliant effort followed.
V.C. v Karori. Won 5—0. Played at Day's Bay on something like a ground. A return to our pristine form. Mousley played well, and he, Broad and Oram (3) were our marksmen.
V.C. v Wesley. Won 5—0. Wesley two men short. Oram (3) and Pope (2) were the scorers.
V.C. v Victoria College Seniors. Won 2—0. This match, the result of a challenge, was the event of the season. In the first five minutes Eichelbaum, with a new stick, came through like a meteor and shot a magnificent goal, his first for a year. The Seniors headed by Beere and Smith (who were rumoured to have something on their respective abilities to score ten goals first) were out for blood and for thirty minutes the going was very solid. The Juniors had an anxious time, till Willis tricked Beere, eluded MacDougall. caught Monaghan napping, "squared " the goalkeeper and smote home—a beauty. The applause was deafening.
Stop Press News
The above report, accepted in good faith from the junior Vice-Captain, one Willis, has been found to be inaccurate. Juniors won match by default.
III a Matches.
V.C. v V.C. III b. Lost 3—2. Smith scored. New method of stopping tried. Result one broken nose, a split face and an eclipsed eye. Four short.
V.C. v Vivian. Lost 6—2. Six men this time. Scorer Smith. 'Nuff said.
V.C. v Wellington. Lost 3—1. Opponents blacked our goalkeeper's eye and scored winning goals on "blind" side. Scorer's name was Smith.
V.C. v Y.M.C.A. Won 6—1. Three referees tried. Enemy's tactics "win, tie or wrangle."
V.C. v United. Won 6—0. United, who fought amongst themselves, utterly routed. Smith the "goal demon" and Macalister 3 each.
V.C. v Wellington. Lost 2—1. The passing or the Championship. It was always a sickly child.
V.C. v V.C. III b. Won 3—2. Both teams played as though "possessed." Level pegging until the III b goalkeeper succumbed to attractions of the fair barrackers and enabled the winning goal to be shot.
V.C. v Vivian. Won 6—1. A bloodless victory S. Macalister (3), M. Macalister (2) and Winder secured our goals.page 47
V.C. v Thorndon. Lost 4—1. Inder, a hatless Rugby Rough, severely mauled an opponent and scored. Match started very late, difficult at finish to distinguish friends from foes.
V.C. v Wesley. Won 7—0. Goals Lyon, another retired footballer, (6) and Cleghorn (1), (to break the monotony.) Referee not required.
V.C. v Wesley. Won '8—3. Half way through second spell score stood 3—2 against us. Captain Smith then addressed the team deprecating their spirit of procrastination. The III a's returned to the charge with renewed vigour and before the astonished Wesleyans could recover, the game had ended as above. Scorers, Rutherford (4), Smith (2), Lyon and Cleghorn.
V.C. v Y.M.C.A. Won 5—2. Smith and one or two others scored goals. Both teams tired.
III b Matches
V.C. v V.C. a. Won 3—2. Our first victory. "Laid out" three of a's.
V.C. v Wellington. Lost 9—0. Harrowing details luckily unavailable.
V.C. v Thorndon. Lost 5—0. Regaining our reputation.
V.C. v Vivian. Won 5—2. Spirits going down.
V.C. v Wesley. Won 8—2. We played like Champions.
V.C. v V.C. III a. Lost 3—2. One of our fair barrackers threw this game away.
V.C. v Wesley. Lost 5—2. We had six men and a boy. Like old times.
V.C. v United. Won, 4—0. Fair, Mason, Mackay and Cook scored. Hogg absent. Team played much better.
V.C. v Y.M.C.A. Won, 5—0. Goals by Mackay, Fair, Barnard, and Cook. Hogg still absent. Form maintained.
V.C. v Vivian. Won, 5 —0. More work for the dentist. Mackay (2), Mansfield, Barnard and Cook shot the goals. Team in excellent form. N. H. Hogg did not appear.
V.C. v Wellington. Won 3—2. Mackay. as usual, and Fair goaled. Frank Wilson very strenuous till "sabred." Much butchery.